American Heart Month.

hearts

Oh February. The month of love, lust, and too much chocolate. How much I love to not really care about Valentine’s Day. But you can’t help to see all shade of red everywhere & stuff animals line the aisle at every store.

And ironically American Heart Month is in February as well! Something this actually excites me, taking care of yourself. Which really, that is what Valentine’s Day should really be focused on, loving yourself!

The human heart is the most complex organ in your body! And did you know that Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in America?  That includes heart disease, stroke, & high blood pressure. Between health care services, medications, and lost of productivity these diseases cost the U.S. over $300 billion each year.

So how about we take a stand and change the norm for Valentine’s Day. Instead of just showing your love for others, how about we pamper ourselves as well! Take this month to make a few changes to better improve your health and lower your risk for Cardiovascular diseases:

  • Work out a little more – walking/jogging 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes will drastically improve your health.
  • Take the stairs! This really does make a difference.
  • Trade the soda in for water.
  • Take vitamins.
  • Instead of dessert, eat fruit.
  • Pack your lunch instead of eating out or ordering in at work.
  • Cook with fresh ingredients!

Happy Heart Month!

Cheat Meals

HAMBURGER

I guess this is the week where I’m going to talk about all my struggles along the path of staying fit & healthy. Because I know everyone comes up against the same battles I do. Food is my biggest weakness when it comes to reaching my goals. I’ve heard before that if you don’t eat right then there is really no point to work out. It’s 70% diet and 30% exercise that will get you that bikini body. But you have to indulge every once in awhile. Heck, if I went forever without another brownie then there is no reason for me to go on in this cruel world.

I’ve never been the type to tell myself “I need to get to this number on the scale”. Weight has never concerned me too much (except at the doctor because I swear their scale is always 20 lbs more than mine at home) but I’ve always strived to have a healthy diet because my eating habits get a bit out of control sometimes. I also have a really weak stomach for greasy, spicy, over seasoned food – you know, all the good stuff really. I crave fried sports bar food & Mexican constantly, even as I’m sitting here eating a greek yogurt. But I know after I eat those types of foods, I feel sick to my stomach and gross.

I went out with some of my girlfriends last night for dinner at Granite City. I had a coupon for a free plate of Idaho Nachos (they’re loaded waffle fries) so we ordered them, because they we’re free and I picked at a few when they arrived. Then as I’m sitting there trying to decide what to actually order I thought to myself “okay, do I want to splurge and feel miserable afterwards or do I want to keep it semi-healthy and feel pretty good about myself”. So, I went with the Mediterranean Chicken (grilled chicken on a bed of brown rice and tomatoes with a side of broccoli) and was super proud of my self control.

I had a few glass of wine with my meal and went over to my friends after dinner for cookies and you know what… I didn’t feel guilty at all for splurging on the wine and treats. Because I didn’t feel like I completely went overboard with all my decisions.

Not saying this will happen every time I go out to eat – my real weakness is buffalo chicken dip but it made me realize that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when you go out to eat for a “cheat” meal.

Rest Days.

cupcakes

I’ve been running like crazy lately! My trick, I try to set up running dates with a bunch of my runner friends. That way it’s harder to get out of my set schedule, and it has totally been working! Now the bad part is it’s taking away from my GMAT studying time. I’ve been out of school for 2 years now and I’ve completely forgotten how to delegate time to studying. But back to the crazy running….

Alright, so confession time. I hate rest days. I either don’t take them and power through workout after workout or…. I take extremely long rest periods. Like a week. or a month. I convince myself I deserve them. This past fall was definitely an exception since I couldn’t walk with the torn ligaments and was on crutches. But sometimes my rest periods get out of hand, which I know a lot of us have this problem… falling off the wagon, is that the saying? Well right now I’ve been doing marvelous with keeping up the healthy habits. I’ve set a goal for myself a while back to complete 5 workouts a week. That way I give myself some wiggle room of two days to take off, which is perfect since some days get a little too hectic to fit in a good workout.

I also really like the rule of “Don’t go 3 days without working out” but for some reason it feels like the longer you go without tying on those sneakers the harder it is to get back into the swing of things. Rest days are extremely necessary, i.e. to avoid injuries and help heel tired muscles. I have a pretty bad pain in my right foot at the moment that is leaving me limping after long runs. I’ve decided it is either from the new trail running shoes I just purchased or I’ve begun a new habit of landing on my foot weird. Of course, I can’t ever have a good running stride. I’m destined to be a Phoebe runner.

phoebe

Does anyone have great tricks to get motivated after rest periods?

Tracking:

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: 2.5 miles

Monday: 5 miles

Tuesday: 4 miles

Today: Rest :)

Tracking.

run

In my efforts to be more organized in the new year (I’ve only used my new planner a whooping 2 times) I’ve been tracking my work outs. It’s actually helped a ton to keep me motivated. I like to get in at least 5 intense workouts a week and jotting all my efforts down on calendar shows how much progress I am making.

Since the injury this last fall (I torn the ligaments on the outside of my ankle) I have slowly recovered from not being able to walk to fully running again. And thank goodness because I was losing my mind without running consistently! I signed up for the San Francisco half coming up in July and I’ll have another local half coming up sooner in May. Training for these will get me fully back to where I was at last summer running-wise. Here is some of the progress for the week:

Sunday: 1 mile incline treadmill run

Monday: 5 miles trail run

Tuesday: 3.25 miles incline/interval treadmill run

 

And as for my 350 miles goals….. total so far: 22.25 miles

I’ve got a ways to go before the end of April but I should be making huge progress once my longer runs come into play.

Kick that Sugar habit.

I love the fact that January is a month of revelation. A fresh start or new beginning. And for most it’s a time to update the healthy eating and exercise routines.

It’s exactly what needs to happen after the holiday season. We’re overwhelmed by sweets & treats that “just one” turns into “who cares, I just ate half the pan of brownies”. And what’s worse is that you continuously crave sugar days after. It’s crazy to think how much sugar impacts you. Sugar can easily be my weakness at times to break my healthy habits. I fall victim way too often to the sugar craving and to cut out sugar from my daily life feels like a battle I can’t overcome some days.

Now hopefully you’re in full swing into your New Years healthy resolutions and have the routine down. So here’s a video that may even been motivation for you to keep truckin’ on with eating healthy and being up in the gym just workin’ on that fitness.

Check out this Ted video that shows how sugar affects the brain:

P.S. I’ve set a New Years resolution to get a Nicki Minaj booty…. because I like super bizarre goals :)

2k15

NY

I’m a bit overdue here on the New Years train. I have to be honest my life is a bit chaotic at the moment. My phone is shattered and the camera is fogged up, my laptop has a pop-up virus at the moment, and I’m transitioning between having two jobs down to one. So I’m not really in the mood to do a cheesy bullet point post on all the things I would like to accomplish in the new year. I’d rather focus on cleaning on the mess that is my life currently.

I had my last shift (for the time being) at World Market last night. My intentions with getting a part time job was to pay off the credit card, which I have succeeded in doing. (Yipee!) Even though I love my job at WM and extremely enjoy the people I work with I was feeling completely run down come holiday season. With not wanting to wear myself too thin I thought it would be the necessary time to cut back.

I felt between two jobs and the craziness December brings, I didn’t have much to look forward too. It wasn’t till I had a long talk with my ma and decided that sometimes having that extra income isn’t worth working the majority of your weeks away. Life is about balance and my scale was drastically leaning towards one end. I was trying to fit my social life in with my busy work schedule, or avoiding social events all together due to lack of time. And the only person that wasn’t benefitting from that was myself.

This leads me to the new year. Taking time off from my part time job was the change I needed coming into 2015. And I don’t mean time off as in a week vacation away. I mean a few months to have enough free time to fully focus on hobbies, friends & family.  I realized that I worked really hard this last year in order to get my finances in check and now it’s the year to focus more on myself. So instead of listing out all these different goals and dreams I want to accomplish in the next 12 months, I’m just going to stick with one ambition to improve my overall happiness and joy for life.

Happy Friday.

350 Miles.

go run.

Since I torn my ligaments on the outside of my ankle (I think the doctor said I torn three) about a month ago during rec volleyball, I have been completely off my work out game. Even before the injury, I wasn’t super intense when it came to working out. Yes, if you asked anyone that knows me they would say otherwise, but for the most part I workout to stay in shape and to be healthy. I have two jobs so that takes away from a lot of free time which leaves me minimal days during the week to get workouts in. So I make it to the gym when I can and as often as I can (sometimes that’s only once or twice a week).

Now that we have made it to the winter season here in South Dakota I give up on my long runs. It gets too icy outside & I don’t want to risk another injury there. And indoor runs are no luck because I get bored out of my mind on a treadmill. I do like interval runs every now and then but those only get me so far.

Then yesterday I decided on a plan to help keep up my running during the cold, winter season. I’ve decided to set a goal for myself to complete 350 miles in about a little under 4 months. I started yesterday and am giving myself till the end of April to complete the miles.

I want to make it a habit to become a morning person when it comes to work outs as well. I don’t want to set the plan as ‘so many miles each month’. I’m just going to start out running a few miles a couple times a week and see where it takes me. Hopefully this goal will help me get back into my old running happens and help me slowing recovery from my ankle injury without pushing it too hard.

If you would like to join me, feel free :)